Baseball Is Back!
The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. – Field of Dreams.
It’s Day One of 182 today.
Baseball – what used to be the Great America Pastime – is back!
Technically, it started last night but today is the first game for my team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
I don’t expect the Phightin’ Phils to be good this year. A few years ago, those young guys they signed to long-term big money contracts are now older and broken down. The pitching rotation isn’t very good. Their bullpen isn’t good and they don’t have a deep bench.
But it’s baseball, the soundtrack to my life for the next seven months. Where I live in New Jersey, I can watch or listen to the Phillies, New York Mets or New York Yankees with ease. And I’ll probably watch or listen to a game nearly every day till the final out of the World Series.
It’s one of those comforting constants to me during the spring and summer months. Maybe it’s one of those things that remind me of being a kid, of being bundled up for Little League practice in the very early spring in Northeast Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Of the smell of my leather glove, an old one my dad brought home from work one time (A Tony Conigliaro model, too big for my hand but unique. I still have it and I love it.) Or the look and smell of my Dad’s 1953 Ernie Banks model Ball Hawk mitt, that I still have an love.
Maybe it’s driving home from work on a warm summer evening with the windows down and catching the last inning or so of an afternoon game. Or having the game on in the family room while I clean up the kitchen while the kids are playing outside. Soon, my boys will be big enough for me to go outside to have a game of catch with them like my dad did with me.
For all of it’s faults – big contracts, performance enhancing drugs, curlish players – baseball still holds allure for me. I may not live and die with my team anymore (big contracts, PEDS, curlish players have had some impact on me, yes) but it’s still the soundtrack to my summertime.
I always love when the season starts because I know a warm spring and warmer summer are right around the corner.
And to me, that’s the good life.
Baseball is part of that.